10 tips for online dating – listen to Keridak’s Wise Women Podcast or read content below.
Have you been putting off dating? Perhaps you’ve been thinking where do I met men? The social bar scene feels awkward and if you were going to meet the right someone through your job, friends or activities it would have happened – right?
I certainly felt this way. I found myself divorced at 50 and at a loss as to where to start finding a new partner. I knew I wanted a man in my life. I knew there were many things that I missed (not just the sex).
I also knew that I was involved in several groups. Ideally mister right would have shown himself. I had many male friends and offers; but none of them were right.
I joined meetups that were for singles. If you haven’t joined meetup, it has a lot of activities in your area that have nothing to do with dating. It can be a great place to get out into the world again. Meetups abound for every interest. Go to meetup.com and see what fun you can find!
I decided after several outings with singles groups that it wasn’t right for me either. Then, I decided to try online dating. I choose e-Harmony first. It seemed that men willing to pay for the service might be more likely to have an income and to be serious.
Tip #1 Before paying for a dating site, try it out. Many online dating sites offer a free trial or free weekend. Be sure to take advantage of that. It may take a few freebies to discover which one fits you.
E-harmony has a long questionnaire. It ideally matches you with the “perfect” possibilities for dates. E-Chemistry has a different type of questionnaire, it matches on personality types. POF (Plenty of Fish) is simpler and free. There are questionnaires if you wish.
These are the three I tried out.
Tip #2 Be honest on the questionnaires. It is easy to think, “well, I’ll try anything once.” I was very open to possibilities the first time I answered. Race, didn’t care…age I thought 45-70 seemed a good span. Religion, well for me I wanted someone who understood spirituality and metaphysical beliefs. This ended up being New Age or Spiritual but not Religious.
What I learned was a tighter span on all areas would have been better. I am open to many possibilities, but what happened was the questionnaires generated way too many men!
Tip #3 Decide on your comfort zone when getting to know strangers. Dating sites can offer a variety of getting to know each other options. There are ways to ask more questions, read profiles and exchange email in house. You do not have to start with any personal information other than what you posted in your profile or answers.
I, quickly discovered that I wanted a more personal touch. If there was a connection, I generally gave out my phone number and started a conversation. I liked hearing their voices and getting real answers that they hadn’t premeditated. Or ones that someone else wrote.
Tip #4 Profiles – be honest and write your own. In my virtual workshop: Ready, Set, Date I spend time on how to write a great profile and how to decode theirs. For here, understand that honesty means success. If you smoke, don’t say you don’t. If you want only men of a certain religious belief, indicate that or better yet, put your profile up on a dating site that is pointed that way…Christian Mingles or Gaia (no longer exists).
I can’t tell you how many stories men, I dated, told of women who lied on their profiles.
Tip #5 Use at least one clear picture of just you, that is also current. Men are visual creatures. They are by nature attracted to photos, before reading more about you. Often they never read the profile.
I received lots of “you look good”… or variants thereof. Nothing else!!
But, imagine the turn off on that first date if my picture was of my 25 year old past self and not the 60 year old that I now am.
Tip #6 Be Nice. Most men do not know how to start the conversation. I responded to those one line emails. Usually I would say, “Thank you. What about my profile attracted you?” or after reading theirs “I appreciate that you like my photo. I read your profile and do not see that we are matched. Good luck on your dating journey.” I always tried to respond.
Tip #7 Just because they are word tied, have a short profile, or odd picture, doesn’t mean they are not great guy. If I hadn’t responded to a “I like your picture.” one sentence initial contact; I wouldn’t have gotten to know Bob. We will be together 7 years in December.
Tip #8 It’s just coffee. I spent a lot of first dates with guys I met online at coffee shops. Being in a public place felt safer. I had already vetted them by a phone conversation or two or three. Occasionally, a date would want to start with lunch or dinner. Most were happy with coffee. Don’t worry if you don’t drink coffee, there are other options.
Tip #9 Again, be nice!! I had one date, who I really liked. He told the story of an online date where the woman walked up to him. Looked him up and down, said to his face “No Way.” Then walked off. How mean. It devastated him. Now online dating means you’ve seen a photo. If not ask him to send one or two. It usually means you know a few things about him and that you have hopefully communicated by phone or email before the date. Be sure there is something or a lot of somethings that you are attracted to before you met.
Tip #10 BE SAFE. You can get a phone number for yourself that can be called for free, Google Voice is one option. You can pay a fee to call out via that number. I didn’t worry about it because I Googled my first name Keri and my town at the time. My address and phone number came right up. I have too much of a web presence to hide that. Try it and see what happens. Always ask for their phone number.
Many states let you check online to see if there is a criminal background.
Make your first date somewhere public. And always let someone else know where you are going and what you know about the guy: name, phone number, etc.
Date locally, there are a lot of scams out there. It is simple for someone online to not be who they say they are. If you can’t meet them in person beware!
NEVER, EVER send money. No matter how tragic the story.
The stories of women having problems online dating are rarer than the media makes out. I went on lots of dates and never had an issue. A few were weird, but never scary. My blog talks about the Cheese Guy, which was one of the oddest. Still, as it can anywhere things can happen.
If you have stories or tips about dating, I’d love to hear about them. Contact me through my website wisewomen.keridak.com